Canadian Opera Company Announces New Artists
The Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Canada's premier training program for young opera professionals, welcomes six outstanding new Canadian artists for the 2013/2014 season. Bass-baritone Gordon Bintner, mezzo-soprano Charlotte Burrage, soprano Aviva Fortunata, baritone Clarence Frazer, tenor Andrew Haji and mezzo-soprano Danielle MacMillan were among the 10 finalists who competed for the highly coveted Ensemble Studio positions at the Second Annual Ensemble Studio Competition in November 2012. Bintner, Haji and Burrage were top prize winners at the 2012 competition with Bintner securing the first-place and audience-choice awards, Haji receiving second-place honours and Burrage taking the third-place award.
The six singers join the Ensemble Studio in August 2013 and become part of an illustrious program that, since its inception in 1980, has launched the careers of over 150 Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors, including Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, David Pomeroy, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Segal, Krisztina Szabó and Allyson McHardy.
These new members of the Ensemble Studio join four returning artists for the 13/14 season: soprano Sasha Djihanian, soprano Claire de Sévigné, tenor Owen McCausland and baritone Cameron McPhail.
Members of the Ensemble Studio receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally renowned opera professionals. In addition, they appear in principal roles in a special Ensemble Studio performance of a COC mainstage production, give several concert performances through the COC's Free Concert Series and perform in the COC's annual Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour, which introduces young audiences throughout Ontario to the world of opera and the performing arts.
All 10 of the new and returning artists of the Ensemble Studio open the 13/14 season of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre with Meet the Young Artists in September 2013. The series runs from September 2013 to June 2014 and features the members of the Ensemble Studio in several recitals of diverse repertoire over the course of the season. Watch for complete details of the 13/14 Free Concert Series season to be announced later this year.